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Your Pelvic Floor

After birth your body will go through a period of healing and recovery. Your pelvic floor is the name we give to the muscles, tissues, and bones that make up your pelvis, and they help you have normal function with your bladder, bowels, and vagina. Pregnancy is a stress to your pelvic floor, and there will need to be time to heal post partum whether you delivered vaginally or by c-section. Significant tearing, episiotomy, or an operative delivery (vacuum or forceps) can increase the time for healing as well.

If you delivered vaginally you may find you are quite sore post partum. You may want to use a peri bottle to spray while you urinate to avoid any stinging. You might also want to use pads prepared by soaking them and then freezing. If you have stitches they will be self dissolving, and can leave a tight sensation for a few weeks until they dissolve. Many women find ibuprofen and acetaminophen to be helpful for their pain post partum. If you are breast feeding you should avoid pain medications with codeine such as Tylenol #3.

Immediately post partum is not the time to be doing any rigorous exercise, as your body is healing and doing so can damage your pelvic floor. You should be spending most of your time lying down or sitting during those first few weeks. You might find that doing too much will cause you increased discomfort and can even increase your vaginal bleeding.

When you are ready to start exercising again, start slow. You may want to review your routine with a pelvic health physiotherapist to make sure it is safe.

Bowel and Bladder:

People tend to be quite nervous about their first poop post partum, especially if they have any vaginal tearing. Maintain soft poops by drinking plenty of water and eating high fibre foods. Some women like to take a stool softener such as Colace or Polyethylene Glycol (Lax-a-day) to help get things moving.

Many women experience some urinary incontinence (losing control of your pee) or fecal incontinence (losing control of your poo). A pelvic health physiotherapist is your best resource for strengthening your pelvic floor to help you overcome this problem. Kegel Exercises might be helpful to strengthen your pelvic floor.


See our page on Sex Post Partum for more information on readiness and contraception. 


Pelvic Health Solutions (Find a pelvic health physiotherapist in your area)

Kegel Exercises (Useful post partum to help you strengthen your pelvic floor)

Perineal Massage (Useful around six weeks post partum to help you relax your pelvis muscles)

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